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April 28, 2019 3 min read
Thanks to Operation Tobacco Free (OTF), USC Project RISHI (USCPR) volunteers will be distributing TeaZa Tobacco-Free pouches over the next several weeks in the rural village of Naga Valadia in Gujarat, India as part of an 18-week smokeless tobacco de-addiction pilot study. The study plans to use smokeless tobacco alternatives to help people quit dipping.
Project RISHI (Rural India Social Health Improvement) is a US based, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization established in 2005 whose primary focus is on the sustainable development of rural Indian communities. The organization operates from its ten university chapters and their initiatives focus on health, water and sanitation, renewable energy, education and income generation.
USCPR has conducted in depth research surveys and determined that there is a rampant addiction to smokeless tobacco (chew) in the village of Naga Valadia in Gujarat, India, where the study will take place. More than 90% of male Naga Valadia villagers are habitual smokeless tobacco users.¹
The 18-week pilot study is entirely run by students and volunteers with the support of a small, local medical team. The study is designed to determine the effects of various tobacco de-addiction aids in combination with basic health education and guidance to wean them off of their traditional chewing tobacco. USCPR plans to return in the winter to scale up our tobacco de-addiction efforts for a larger village population.
OTF is a prosocial initiative launched by TeaZa in October 2015 in response to the growing number of customers who use TeaZa as a supplement or replacement for smokeless tobacco. OTF serves to discourage tobacco use and inspire healthy lifestyles through education, community outreach and support of youth sports and health programs.
TeaZa Tobacco-Free Pouches are an herb and vitamin tea packaged in a small pouch—similar in shape and size to an oral tobacco pouch, hence its popularity as a substitute. It is sugar-free, gluten-free, nut-free, tobacco-free, nicotine-free, vegan and contains zero calories.
The innovative pouches were originally developed by the research and development team at Trim® Nutrition, Inc.—a medical company headquartered in Clearwater, FL that produces vitamins, supplements and proprietary nutrient injections.
“Our clinical staff of physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses, and research and development specialists are dedicated to the mission of Making Bodies Better™” said Brent Agin, MD, President and CEO of TrimNutrition and TeaZa. “Because we are a medical company, we understand that smokeless tobacco addictions are similar, but different than smoking habits,” Agin said.
According to the American Cancer Society, people with smokeless tobacco habits are not only addicted to nicotine and suffer from all the physical, mental and emotional components of addiction, they also have a unique need to keep something in their mouth. People trying to quit smokeless tobacco need an oral substitute to take the place of the chew, snuff, or pouch.²
TeaZa Tobacco-Free Pouches provide the type of oral stimulation smokeless tobacco users crave.
“We are very proud that we were invited to participate in USC Project RISHI’s smokeless tobacco de-addiction study. We know from customer feedback that TeaZa helps people quit dipping. It will be exciting to see the results of the study, and the impact TeaZa has on these villagers,” Agin said.
If you’re ready to quit chewing tobacco, check out our resources to quit chewing tobacco!
¹Kunal Varshneya, Dhiraj J. Pangal, Avi M. Borad, et al. 2016. “A report on the health and literacy attributes of Naga Valadia, a rural village in India”, International Journal of Current Research, 8, (06)
²”Why Is It so Hard to Quit Smokeless Tobacco?” American Cancer Society. N.p., 20 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Aug. 2016. <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/tobaccocancer/smokelesstobaccoandhowtoquit/guide-to-quitting-smokeless-tobacco-quitting>
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